BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wellesley Island Hawk

Ten years too late, it’s good riddance to wind farms – one of the most dangerous delusions of our age

Energy Minister John Hayes has announced no more wind farms are allowed to be built in the UK

The significance of yesterday’s shock announcement by our Energy Minister John Hayes that the Government plans to put a firm limit on the building of any more onshore windfarms is hard to exaggerate.
On the face of it, this promises to be the beginning of an end to one of the greatest and most dangerous political delusions of our time.

Read more:  from the Daily mail online

Panel probes White House support of Colo. Solar company

 DENVER — Emails between an independent consultant and the Obama administration suggest the consultant felt pressure to help arrange a loan guarantee for a Colorado solar panel manufacturer that later went bankrupt.

 The House Committee on Energy and Commerce asked the administration this month to explain what the U.S. Department of Energy knew about problems with a $400 million federal loan guarantee awarded to Abound Solar. Continue...
The video below details the political connections between the Obama Administration and Democratic benefactor Pat Stryker in the controversial government loan given to now bankrupt Abound Solar.


 Pat Stryker founded Bohemian Companies and was an early investor who contributed to $300 million in start-up capital for Abound. Stryker is also an Obama bundler who has given more than $440,000 to Democratic groups and candidates, including the president, in the  last three elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics

 Internal emails leaked from the Department of Energy to CompleteColorado.com conflict with the President's claim to Kyle Clark of KUSA on October 26th decisions on failed green energy loans were insulated from politics and the influence of the White House.

Continue reading

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Talk of a Wind Subsidy ‘Phaseout’

The wind industry, fighting to hold onto a generous tax credit set to expire in December, has been arguing that it does not need the support forever – just a little while longer, until it can compete with fossil fuels on its own.[1]
The Production Tax Credit (PTC) is nothing more than a Welfare Program for the wind industry, and it should be allowed to expire.

 The PTC was Enacted by Congress in 1992 as a temporary measure to beef up the wind industry
by subsidizing wind power  2.2 cents per kilowatt hour .
Between 2009 and 2013 Wind Subsidies cost American taxpayers $14 billion and $6 billion of these alone were from the Production Tax Credit.[2]

The potential of the Production Tax Credit expiring in December 2012 does not Bode well with Wind proponents.

The argument being used by the American Wind Energy Association and their supporters is that without the Production Tax Credit thousands of jobs will evaporate.
As a result of this thinking, U.S. lawmakers said they may consider extending and then phasing out the main tax break for producing wind energy. [3]

However, this argument is nothing more than a sham
As it now stands the current law provides the benefits of the Production Tax Credit be phased out.   For example, there is 10 year benefit eligibility for turbines after they have been constructed. Turbines created in 2007 will receive the PTC until 2017. So any turbine that is created before the deadline will continue to receive benefits for a decade, until January 2023. [4]

Realistically if this industry has not been able to get on its feet after twenty years and
 Billions in tax subsidies , it is time to stop the insanity.

[1] NY Times Green Blog subsidy phase out

 [2] Press Release Senator Lamar Alexander 

[3] Bloombergu-s-lawmakers-consider-phaseout-of-wind-energy-tax-break

[4] National center for Policy analysis http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=22278

Iberdrola Sued by Residents Living in Fairfield, NY Wind Project


Wind Farm Called "Giant Pain in the Neck"

Written by Marlene Kennedy, Courthouse News Service, www.courthousenews.com | 
    Concerned Residents of Hammond comment on this story

 Crohnote: Again I say Governor Cuomo...Are you watching? Is this the company you want New Yorkers to continue to do business with? Is this the company you will let, along with British Petroleum, industrialize and destroy the tourist economy of the 1000 Islands? The towns of Fairfield, Middleville, Norway, Hammond, Clayton, Orleans, Brownville, Morristown, Oswegatchie, Parishville, Hopkinton, Litchfield, New Hartford, Frankfort and many more have, and will, continue to suffer at the hands of this foreign corporate giant all for the sake of green energy.  Allowing the greed of foreign corporations to have priority over the health, safety and welfare of your constituents while continuing the promotion of the most inefficiently produced form of renewable energy MUST STOP.

October 30, 2012
Dozens of neighbors of a $200 million wind farm sued the companies behind it, claiming noise and lights give them migraines, make them nervous and keep them up at night. Their dogs bark too much, dairy cows are less productive, and TV and Internet services are interrupted, the 60 plaintiffs claim in Albany County Supreme Court. All live within a mile of the Hardscrabble Wind Power Project, northeast of Utica in the rural communities of Fairfield, Middleville and Norway.  Iberdrola Energy Services and a slew of affiliates are named as defendants, along with Hardscrabble Wind Power, Atlantic Wind USA and affiliates, engineering consultant CHM2 Hill and staff acoustical engineer Mark Bastasch.

The property owners claim the defendants “carelessly and negligently failed to adequately assess and/or test the site of the Hardscrabble project to determine whether the subject project would be feasible and/or produce reasonable benefits to the community.” They say the wind farm – with 37 turbines that stand 476 feet tall – is too large, too noisy and too close to their homes. The 74-megawatt project began producing electricity in January 2011, according to the website of Iberdrola Renewables, an affiliate of Iberdrola USA. The project is touted as “home-grown” because the blades and tower sections for the turbines were made in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Ontario court rules against wind farm suit over moratorium

An Ontario court has struck down a $2.25 billion damage claim brought by a company unhappy with the Ontario government’s decision to halt off-shore wind farms.
The company says it will appeal the ruling.
Trillium Wind Power Corp. had launched the action after the province placed a moratorium on offshore wind developments in the run-up to last year’s Ontario election.
Trillium had plans for four off-shore wind farms at the time.
Trillium said that one of the farms, a big development in Lake Ontario off Kingston was hours from finalizing a $26 million financing agreement when the moratorium was declared. The deal fell apart
Continue reading via this link to The Star.com

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Supplemental letter to the Public Service Commission

Honorable Jaclyn A Brilling, Secretary
 NYS Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment
Three Empire Plaza
Albany NY 12223

RE: Case 12-F - 0410: Application of Cape Vincent Wind Power, LLC for
          Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need to
                Construct an approximately 200-285MW Wind Electric
 Generating Facility in the Town of Cape Vincent, NY

Honorable Secretary Brilling:

September 28, 2012, I submitted a comment letter for the above file. I have a
 supplemental comment to add to the file for the Cape Vincent Wind Power Application.

I was reviewing the BP Public Involvement Program and I noted that the list of
stakeholders did not include the Fort Drum Military instillation.

 As the crow flies this military base is approximately 30 miles from BP†proposed Cape
Vincent wind project.  Fort Drum is being considered for a possible missile
interceptor site, additionally Fort Drum may also become home to a predator
 drone program.  Issues with wind turbines and radar are a well-documented
phenomenon.  Large wind turbine blades reflect radar signals creating unwanted
echoes in radar systems (clutter).This clutter poses the challenge of
distinguishing wind farm signatures from airplanes.  Additionally Cape Vincent
 shares a border with Canada; radar interference caused by wind turbines has the
 potential to critically influence our border security.


Kathryn A. Hludzenski

Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health

Dr. Nissenbaum’s controlled case study showing adverse health effects to distances of at least 4500 ft has been published in the peer reviewed journal Noise and Health.  

Michael A. Nissenbaum, Jeffery J. Aramini1 , Christopher D. Hanning2

Northern Maine Medical Center, Fort Kent, Maine, USA, 1Intelligent Health Solutions, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 2University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK

 Industrial wind turbines (IWTs) are a new source of noise in previously quiet rural environments. Environmental noise is a public health concern, of which sleep disruption is a major factor. To compare sleep and general health outcomes between  participants living close to IWTs and those living further away from them, participants living between 375 and 1400 m (n = 38) and 3.3 and 6.6 km (n = 41) from IWTs were enrolled in a stratified cross-sectional study involving two rural sites. Validated questionnaires were used to collect information on sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index — PSQI), daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Score — ESS), and general health (SF36v2), together with psychiatric disorders, attitude, and demographics. Descriptive and multivariate analyses were performed to investigate the effect of the main exposure variable of interest (distance to the nearest IWT) on various health outcome measures. Participants living within 1.4 km of an IWT had worse sleep, were sleepier during the day, and had worse SF36 Mental Component Scores compared to those living further than 1.4 km away. Significant dose-response relationships between PSQI, ESS, SF36 Mental Component Score, and log-distance to the nearest IWT were identified after controlling for gender, age, and household clustering. The adverse event reports of sleep disturbance and ill health by those living close to IWTs are supported.

Link here to Noise & Health to read this article

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lakes not so great for wind projects, according to new energy blueprint

   The new state energy “blueprint” released last week in Albany presents a clear preference to focus efforts on a state wind farm plan off the Rockaways. in New York City.

 October 28,2012

ALBANY – The Cuomo administration, which last year scuttled as too expensive a plan to construct the nation’s first wind energy farm in the Great Lakes, is putting its offshore focus in an area 15 miles into the Atlantic Ocean off New York City.

Now questions are arising about whether Lake Erie and Lake Ontario will ever be tried, at least by the current administration, as a source for the renewable form of energy generation.

 Continue reading via this link to the Buffalo News

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cape Vincent Town Board Member Clif Schneider addresses Richard Chandler, BP project developer.

At the Special meeting at Recreation Park, Tuesday evening Town Board Member  Clif Schneider addressed Richard Chandler, BP project developer.

Clif Schneider: I'm not going to take very long. I just, I want to get an idea, of ah ---how BP decided to come here. And ---they mentioned the comprehensive plan; my question really has to do with the comprehensive plan.

 I think it's important to know ah, back in 2003.  You've heard about the plan--it’s a master plan.  I'm sure you're familiar with that whether you're in Texas or, no matter where you live; it’s kind of a common thing. The intent of that is --- sort of describe the community, what the community interests are, and that kind of thing. Back in 2003, the town and village adopted a comprehensive plan; a master plan for the community-- had to do with the economic growth at that time. It-- actually got started in process in 2000, took a number of years, and by 2003 --- they formally adopted it, they just didn't accept it, but they formally adopted it, it gave it more traction. The interesting thing is in 2003, when they started to do that that was long before ah, wind came around town, long before we had --- even before leases were signed and that type of thing. 

I just want -- I just want to point out, to give you a feel for the kind of community this is.  It’s, ah-- I'm thinking in terms of if BP were going to come here they would be wanting to say, okay, the first thing I wanted to do is see their master plan, and of course I want to talk to some officials. The vision statement for-- in that 2003 plan, was to protect the integrity of Cape Vincent’s small town atmosphere, while allowing for compatible residential growth, econ- commercial growth. So, you can see it was geared toward a small community, a rural community, that type of thing. It went through various parts of ah, the town, and describing the breaking out into different zones. There is an internal section called the agricultural residential section where actually most of your project is scheduled to be developed. And what that plan said back in 2003, before you both came to town, was what they wanted to enhance and, ah -- support was agriculture in that section and it said to develop-- development that has minimum impact on ah, the important resources such as scenic view, vistas, working landscapes and tourism assets, now this is before you guys came to town. It also said what to discourage and it said location of towers, prisons and utility facilities where the facility--- where the impact would have a negative   impact on scenic vistas and tourism assets.  So, I mean you-- it's a quite clear statement.

 The thing I'm interested in, I think a lot of people are, is what, what prompted wind companies to come here when you know this is a small town --- small town atmosphere, you have very  Clear stuff which is saying hey what we really want to do with our agricultural area is leave it alone ,we don't want towers. How could you possibly come in here and ---at that time when you first came in you  had a project of hundred turbines, it was 95 at the time but it’s similar to what you have right now, the equivalent of 140 story buildings in our --in the town that wants to maintain a small atmosphere. How did you come to do that? I mean do you even think that, that really is compatible with the kind of community was described back there in 2003?

Chandler:  That’s--I mean, the question you're asking is of me personally, I-- I was not involved with the original siting of this project and this area.

Clif Schneider: okay, well, let's move ahead to now.

Chandler: Sure.

Clif Schneider: Now come in, you’ve got 100 and ah, 124, which is even more
(Unintelligible), turbines which is even more of an impact. And so, you still, we still have that same vision. That same vision of a small-town, small commercial industry, we also have the same sense about what we want to do with the interior so-- the project you are proposing really is, do you think that's compatible, to the   kind of description we had in that master plan?

Chandler: Ah.

Clif Schneider: Would you say the development you have right here is compatible with a community that wants to maintain a small-town atmosphere?

Chandler: Ah, I do, I do believe the project offers ah, the opportunity to be both compatible with ah, allowing for wind power generation as well as maintaining the ability to continue agricultural activities and a small town feel.
 Again, this is not the first project that we've pursued,  um, there are other small towns across the US  and in New York that have hosted wind turbines sites, ah, have not had ah,detrimental effects, that ah, some may have thought that might  be the case. Ah, we absolutely continue to believe that. Ah, there is great wind resource here in Cape Vincent as you know all too well, you live here; you know the power of wind.  Um, ah, we believe that we offer the opportunity to bring significant environmental and economic benefits to the town, both in the form of leasehold payments as well as ah, any kind ah, of payments we might make   in lieu of taxes.

Clif Schneider:  you know, you indicated – – – – – your discussion about you said you   looked at your own internal controls, you know we ah, took a look at the ----you’re ah, posted website, you’ve got 13 wind farms.
 We to took a look at that-- in terms of internal when I look at those, those wind farms that you have in other words, I found where they were in Colorado, and Texas and what have you.  I did the little Google Earth thing, I was flying over your, your ah, wind farms out there, and internally it looks as though you have the same notion about your plans, I mean internally ah, this, town and this set up and this plan, really is, is in contrast and incompatible with the kinds of things you’ve done everywhere else.

Chandler: UM,

Clif Schneider: I mean, this, this, and you don't have any other place. I've looked at all those things and, and you know you've got miles between turbines and, and ah, homes and residences, you don't have any wind farm where you have it right next to a tourism-based economy to a major area of the, a region in the state that draws tourism. You haven't got anything, so why did you come here?

Chandler: You, we can talk about setbacks that we've used in developing the layout here, from  looking at roadways, looking at ah, residences looking at a, ah, property lines, of parties who are or are not participating in the project. We can talk about all those kinds of details, all of which I again, I reiterate are either at or above our own internal standards and   certainly at or above industry standards for building wind turbine projects. This is both for proposed and operational projects.

Clif Schneider: Okay and I understand that.  You say in a sense that really is compatible but you've also said here, that you're trying to be responsive to what we are putting forward. From my personal point of view it's not compatible, what you propose is not compatible with what this community stands for.

 And I've got one last comment. The advertising, you mentioned the advertising you   know, we have seen these ads, I thought they weren’t very helpful. One thing in particular how can you be pushing the economic deal with the money that’s going to come back to the community?  In all essence that's all based on an assumption that you are going to get a ah, pilot agreement, that really was when we initially set it up--we have a legislator here right here that said in effect that this wasn't to be used in anything else other than Galloo. So you can't really  be talking about any kind of financial stuff particularly--- putting an ad in the paper, talking about financial stuff, when you really haven't even set-- begun the discussion of ah, the arrangements and agreements that are required from all the taxing jurisdictions to do that. So, my suggestion there would be you know lay low on the advertising don't stress anything on economics until you get to the point.  

The other thing is take home the message that this is a small community --- what you got up there is incompatible with what we stand for.

Lyme to consider moratorium on personal turbines Nov. 14

Continue reading via this link to the Watertown Times

Horse Creek Wind Farm developer might upsize project, begin state siting process as soon as next spring

Friday, October 26, 2012

Republicans’ Point of View On Environment

Posted by  • October 26, 2012 •
Mitt Romney is a Republican and does not feel global warming is an issue that needs to be worked on. He feels that “there remains a lack of scientific consensus on the issue- on the extent of the warming, the extend of the human contribution, and the severity of the risk,” he wrote. Ferber H. Ferber is a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) who teaches American, state, local Politics and environmental policy. He said that the Republican point of view on this topic is “scientist’s projection 30 years from now they will feel that there is not enough proof and it’s very expensive to deal with.”
Romney feels that using money for research for global warming can hurt the economy. Romney wants to strip the Environmental Protection Agency and its ability to control the greenhouse gas emissions and he is against fuel economy standards. Also he feels tax credit to wind energy is not needed. “Romney does not in favor tax incentives because of less return in deductions to the country” said Mr. Ferber. This means USA could go in more debt by doing the tax incentives.

Audit: Green jobs stimulus program wastes cash

“President Obama’s green jobs training program, which was part of his stimulus, has failed on most key jobs measures, according to a new internal audit that found it was training workers who already had jobs that didn’t need green energy skills, and was failing to place new enrollees in jobs once they finished the training.
The Energy Department’s inspector general also said grantees who received the green jobs-training money did a poor job of reporting their results.
Only 38 percent of those who have completed training got jobs based on it, and only 16 percent kept jobs for at least six months — the key measure of success for the program.[Washington Times]


Both BP $ ACCIONA had been working in unison for years to bring Cape Vincent into submission .

At the Special meeting at Recreation Park, Tuesday evening Planning Board Member  Butch Cullen mentioned that BP had put pressure on the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency(JICDA) to cut a  tax deal with the town, and that they wanted to take away the towns taxing jurisdiction authority, completely away.

 In 2010, the Jefferson County Industrial development Agency had been working on the development of a Uniform Tax Exemption Policy , a policy that governs payments in lieu of taxes or PILOT payments. Both BP and Acciona wanted the JCIDA to take away a towns right to veto a PILOT agreement .

The scheme to cut out taxing jurisdictions was put forward by BP attorney Justin S. Miller, Harris Beach PLLC, Albany.
"The IDA is not required to make changes forwarded by the taxing jurisdictions," he said. "There is no required consent or veto power of the taxing jurisdiction — you're just required to have a public process." [1]
If a pilot is negotiated for BP’s project, they will be paying a fraction of what they should be paying.

The wind developer gets a reduction in the taxes that they are required to pay. The AVERAGE decrease in property values for homeowners in a community that hosts turbines is 30% to 40%

When the property assessments are accordingly reduced this means a reduction in tax revenue for the community. The result of this will be an increase in tax rates to cover this loss in tax revenue.

  Recently it was reported that BP’s Chandler had been seen visiting Don Alexander CEO of the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency.

 Both BP $ ACCIONA  had been working in unison for years to bring Cape Vincent into submission .

[1] Link here to a Watertown Times editorial Re: the IDA, PILOTS $ BP

Below is a letter sent to the JICDA from Acciona’s project developer Tim Conboy. 
Regarding the development of a uniform tax exempt policy in Jefferson County.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Silence of the Goats...

With an increasing number of industrial-scale wind turbines around the world, numerous reports are surfacing to suggest that noise, infrasound and stray voltage (dirty energy) may be harmful to livestock and wildlife.
While evidence is largely anecdotal, incidences of mass die-offs of farm animals, chickens laying soft-shelled eggs, high animal miscarriage rates and disappearance of wildlife near turbines provide pause for reflection. These and other incidents suggest a need for scientific study to determine safety before additional wind energy facilities are erected across the U.S., including several proposed in San Diego’s East County.Continue reading via this link to East County Magazine 
In 2009 it was reported that
A large number of goats in Taiwan may have died of exhaustion because of noise from a wind farm.
A farmer on an outlying island told the BBC he had lost more than 400 animals after eight giant wind turbines were installed close to his grazing land.

BBC News - Wind farm 'kills Taiwanese goats'

BP has a history in Cape Vincent

 June 27, 2012 The Town of Cape Vincent received a letter from BP’s Director of Development Richard Chandler, concerning Cape Vincent's New Draft Zoning revisions.

In his letter Chandler said, the proposed Zoning Law is unreasonably burdensome and will effectively prohibit wind generation from being sited within the Town. The town has already
evaluated potential impacts from the Cape Vincent and St. Lawrence Wind Farm projects and
made favorable findings. The requirements of the Proposed Zoning Law, however, are
inconsistent with these findings. The requirements, setback provisions, exclusion areas, and noise
standards contained within the Proposed Zoning Law are highly restrictive and should be
substantiated by realistic and credible studies, consistent with other operational wind projects, and
in line with industry standards.

For years BP has been against Cape Vincent protecting the health and welfare of its citizens by properly addressing the siting of industrial scale wind turbines.

Below is a copy of a letter  from Jim Madden one of  BP's  former  project developer's, assigned to the Cape Vincent Wind "farm".
In his letter Madden is warning of the economic losses that will result in developing a protective wind law.

Link here to post giving background on wind law committee Dollars Versus Decibels
May 5, 2010
Town of Cape Vincent Planning Board
1964 NYS Rt. 12 E
Cape Vincent , NY 13618

The Town of Cape Vincent has been working on developing a wind ordinance for almost two years now. Through this time, BP Wind has supported the development of a wind ordinance so that expectations for siting, construction and operations of wind farms can be clearly established and uniformly enforced.

However, despite recent efforts, it appears that a wind ordinance will not be implemented this year, largely due to lack of agreement on noise limits. As everyone involved in these discussions knows, measuring noise and establishing noise limits are complex issues. Ambient noise varies by season and even minute to minute due to wind, insects and other natural and man-made noise sources. Wind turbine noise also varies with wind speed as the blades increase and decrease in velocity. Furthermore, it is easy to get sidetracked on technical issues like method of measuring and which noise standards to use.

As you know, Cape Vincent is not the first town to implement a wind ordinance. Hundreds of communities in the U.S. have similar concerns and resolved them in a manner that protects residents and allows for responsible development of wind energy.

Here in New York, we are aware of 22 towns that have implemented wind ordinances that include noise limits below 50 dBA. Yet many of these towns have operating wind farms without any significant noise issues and some are even pursuing expansion of their projects.

While we would all prefer if wind turbines were completely silent, the fact is that wind turbines are not as noisy as critics claim. Anyone who has visited a wind farm and talked to the people living near operating turbines can attest to that, However, establishing unrealistic limits on noise will simply act as a de- facto ban on wind energy in Cape Vincent. While wind energy opponents would cheer that idea, it would prevent the town and the region from receiving tens of millions of dollars in economic benefits the wind farm would provide.

Some would ask that you not consider economic benefits when considering a wind ordinance. Therefore, we have developed the enclosed estimates of the economic benefits of the BP Wind project, based on various noise limits. We used NYSERDA data on construction and operations jobs and revenues, as well as the recent Galloo Island PILOT agreement for tax revenues.

This analysis shows an expected total 20- year economic benefit to the region of over 86$ million from our project , assuming noise limits are set at 50dBA at non- participating property lines. As limits are tightened, there will reduction in number of turbines and reduction in economic benefits. At 48 dBA, the economic benefits are reduced by $13 million, to about $73 million, while at 47dBA, there would be $68million in estimated economic benefits.

Finally, the analysis shows that a noise limit of 42dBA at property lines would result in a 36MW project and only $27million in economic benefits over 20 years, if it was built. In reality, the economics will not support a 36 MW project, so the project could not be built.

While the discussion of noise limits and setbacks is important, the Town of Cape Vincent should keep in mind the economic impacts of these decisions and that there are practical limits to what can be done with current wind energy technology.


Jim Madden

Business developer

Foiled Copy of Maddens letter below

Below are charts and data that Madden put together to show that a too restrictive wind law

Madden says that it will cut into the community and leaseholder profits. I think that BP is more concerned about their profits than those of the community or lease holders .

BP's Chandler states that BP's Cape Vincent Wind project violates local zoning".

BP Minion ~ Chandler

At the Special meeting at Recreation Park, Tuesday evening Dave Henderson  Lyme Town Councilman addressed Richard Chandler, BP project developer.

 The following is an excerpt not the full exchange

 Dave Henderson : I guess I’m asking , have you taken  into consideration  the latest information,  world  standards on siting turbines?

 Chandler: Again, I don’t know how you are defining world standards. I've indicated what it is that we have looked at .  

Dave Henderson: Have you looked at the world health organization’s recommendations?

Chandler: if you have additional standards that you'd like for us to factor in that are outside of the town zoning law, we will be happy to take a look at them. What I've described is what we've factored in.

Dave Henderson:   you are not addressing the town zoning law at all, like I said you are going to ignore the town zoning law.

 Chandler: We have read the town zoning law.

 Dave Henderson: But you're not going to abide by it.

Chandler: we have read it we read it, we have factored it in, and we are proposing for discussion what we have behind you.

Dave Henderson:  What’s behind me does not represent the town zoning law, is that correct?

Chandler: I believe it's correct to say that if we were to take this layout and overlay it the town zoning law it would be in violation of that.

Dave Henderson: Thank you.

Cape Vincent Meeting Message



Cape Vincent Planning Board Member Butch Cullen addresses Richard Chandler, BP project developer.

  At the Special meeting at Recreation Park, Tuesday evening Planning Board Member  Butch Cullen addressed Richard Chandler, BP project developer.

Butch Cullen: Can you hear me?  

Chandler: absolutely.

Butch Cullen: just a little bit of background. I'm looking at this whole thing in a little different light than some of the people especially the planning board members and town board members. I've been involved in zoning in this town for, I don't know since 1989, on and off. A member the planning board for 13 years, I have experienced a lot of situations with small-scale site plan reviews.  I have gone through a lot of training at state level and county level relative to how to deal with projects, site reviews especially. So, I concentrate on the procedures that the planning board members need to follow.

 I was brought back onto the planning board about a year and a half ago, because of the meltdown of our previous planning board and the fact that this community needed help in regard to planning. My experience, past training drove me to start doing some research on this project, and what really baffles me is we have very small projects in this town, very small projects that have been handled well than this one. BP, the size of your Corporation, I'm sure you guys go through this all the time, all the time. You must have capabilities to deal with almost any land use regulation, or zoning law or anything else globally that you can imagine. For some strange reason you chose not to be upfront with the planning board and the town board. It was a backdoor approach, and I'll just give you some examples of that.

There were secret communications, utterly secret communications, with leaseholders, potential leaseholders, town officials, planning board officials, who knows, who else, years before you applied for this project, probably some of them were under contract with you before you applied for this project. When you did apply which was in 2006, your SEQRA application information was vague and incomplete. The noise impact study was questionable and probably biased. There was no plan to mitigate several of the positive environmental impacts and there still isn’t and there probably never will be.

You put pressure on the Jefferson County industrial development agency to cut you a deal, a tax deal with the town, and to take this town’s taxing jurisdiction authority, completely away.

 It was in 2006 when you applied for this this project and to my knowledge this planning board has not seen one additional bit of official information from BP, relative to modifications of the application. I've kept an eye on this project since day one and that map, the first definitive map I've seen for the project. So, your comments about involving the community, it hasn't happened. I was on the economic impact committee.  Are you aware of the economic impact study that has been done? Are you familiar with that?

Chandler: I'm familiar with the fact that the St. Lawrence wind farm project completed the SEQR process; including the Draft Supplemental final EIS as well as the Cape Vincent wind farm draft EIS.

 Butch Cullen: The town board formed a committee to do an economic impact study of wind development in this town. Are you familiar with that? Are you aware of that?

Chandler: I'm not familiar with the study.

Butch Cullen: It’s important; you should read it, because the state of New York certainly will want to see it, in their evaluation. Anyway, as part of that process I went to the BP office to obtain some information, so we could put our study together, BP refuse to provide information that I asked for. They flat refused to provide it, we were handed that yellow map that’s been in circulation for six years.
I guess it was Jim Madden, there’s a map in there, it's got some dots on it, you guys can figure out who, where those towers, sites are, and he said, by the way it's not complete, or its not accurate its close but it's about all your get out of me. So, anyway that's how cooperative BP has been relative to the impact study.

There's really been no meaningful involvement with BP in this planning board, which should be as opposed to everybody except us since 2006. There was a point in time when I felt (when I came back on the planning board) that it would be worthwhile to just sit down around one table with their advisors, our consultants , BP planning board members and try and put a fence around this thing to figure out where we really are. So,  Mr. Macsherry asked Peter Gross to consider attending a meeting, planning board meeting, a timeline and scheduling meeting. He felt that that wasn't in his best interest to do that. Then to top matters off, submitting the PIP plan to the state of New York that is no better than what I just described.  A whole bunch of big empty information and they let you know in what, six pages of comments as to what they thought about your PIP plan.

 I guess my point is, if you're going to go to the state of New York for review what happens if you fail there? Is it possible you'll come back to us?  If you fail at the state level, will you come back to this planning board for review?

Chandler:  Again, we think the Article 10 process provides the best opportunity for the project to move along and we intend on it adhering to the process, provide the information that we need to make it a robust and complete an application as possible.

Butch Cullen: So, you're saying you probably won't come back to us.

Chandler: I think we have a very valuable project here for this community. The Article 10 process provides an appropriate avenue for pursuing the project and moving forward, and we are going to pursue that.

Butch Cullen: So, you will or will not answer the question. Will you be coming back to this planning board with an application for wind development project if the state turns you down?

Chandler: We can hold the hypothetical situations here, the fact is, and we have an application that we are working on for a project that we believe provides true benefit both economically and environmentally for both the community and the state. We are focused on moving forward in the process.

Butch Cullen: Needless to say, I'm not sure you really understand you probably got an idea by looking around this room how enormous this project is to this town.  It’s a tsunami as far as Cape Vincent is concerned. But I'm not sure you really understand the character and the history and the other key aspects of this community. I really don't think you understand that.  Certainly BP…  Just let me tell you some of the impacts, the pressures on this community in the last 13 years. Families have been torn apart, totally torn apart, friendships destroyed. Health of individuals impacted. I could go into detail on that but there are people in this room that I'd rather not have hear that. The voters were in turmoil, they did their job they elected the people they wanted because of wind in this community. Our town budget is difficult for this town board to plan, due to the expenses its put this town through and getting legal services and pay other costs associated with what we are going through.

 The town board has been in and upheaval it settled down, now we have a fabulous town board.  Planning board went through a meltdown; we have a fabulous planning board now.  There are some here that don't like it but there's a reason why they don't like it, it's because it's a good planning board. We volunteered we have literally thousands of volunteer hours in this community, these  people sitting right here at these tables put this thing back together ,picked up the pieces to get  this town back on track and we did that.

 Been tremendously difficult for local businesses.  If you are pro-wind you go one place, if you are anti-wind you go another and that's the way it is. Poor businessmen don't know what to say.  Our organizations have even been impacted.  Some people think if wind comes to the town were gonna get a new clock on the village green, or something’s gonna be repaired or have some work done at the lighthouse. These people don't know what to think. Just a few examples of what's going on here, in case you didn't know. The end result of all this in my opinion, if you took a vote in this room, in this town right now there's a total lack of trust in BP, based on past experience.

We see a new BP here tonight, only because state of New York demands it, that’s why we see a new BP here, none of this stuff ever happened until tonight. We removed the conflicted or unethical board members. It's all been the result of wind. We had a meltdown on our planning board, all a result of wind. We updated our comprehensive plan (something else you should become familiar with) all because of wind. We amended our zoning law, all because of wind.

 The threat of you going to Article X is another disconnect with Cape Vincent.  Basically what you're telling us is we just don't intend to abide by what the local community wants.  It's just another disconnect. So, as I mentioned we updated our comp plan and our zoning law. We updated our comp plan because it's what the people in this town want, and it's also what they don't want. It clearly states what they want and what they don't want. You should become familiar with that even though you won’t abide by it. We have a zoning law based on our comprehensive plan, the way it should be based on scientific fact and expert advice. Any fair and unbiased siting board would expect nothing less from BP than what is contained in our comprehensive plan.

 No matter what route you take, that is if you decide to go with Article X and never come back here, I think you should be prepared to know, Cape Vincent is going to defendants local laws, and its land-use regulations entirely as they are written.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cape Vincent Planning board member Bob Brown addresses Richard Chandler, BP project developer.

 At the Special meeting at Recreation Park, Tuesday evening Planning Board Member Bob Brown addressed Richard Chandler, BP project developer.

Bob Brown: Mr. Chandler, thank you for coming tonight and giving us the little bit of information that you did .I assume you're here to answer some questions should we pose them.  

I would like to explain a little bit about what we have done in the past year with our zoning laws. Your advertisement, you say you've published. I've seen one of them that advertisement says Cape Vincent wind farm to achieve a win-win for the community and local economy .The only way we see a win-win is if you pay some significant attention to our new zoning law.

In January, the town board appointed a group of citizens from all over the town and charged us with looking at the existing zoning law. Obviously part of that was to address wind energy conversion systems.  Four attempts have been made in the past six years to write a wind addendum to the zoning law, each of these attempts ended in dismal failure because   of the attitude of conflicted interests. These attempts were carried out in a very controlled fashion; public input was not sought let alone encouraged, by the zoning law committee.  Under the guidance of Mr. Curtin established two irrevocable principles. 
Number one, the health the safety and welfare of the entire community, everybody, was Paramount. 
The second one, was all technical requirements, all technical requirements were established in concert with recognized experts in their field. These were not established based on emotion or anything else. They were based on expert technical, sound scientific knowledge and we do have the experts to back it up and we will bring them with us.
The zoning rewrite committee set up an operating method that encouraged public input, the well-publicized meetings wherein the paper, initially, they were then talked about at the town board meetings. The town knew we were having the meetings and everybody was invited to come.
 From January 17, to June 4, we met twice a week, two and half hours each time. The public was invited, the public was encouraged. During this entire time neither BP nor any of the identified leaseholders attended these meetings and contributed in any way toward the coverage of wind energy conversion systems.
 We set up a formalized method where people could write a comment or suggestion and we had them in a notebook, we still have them. 

There were no comments from anybody, on setbacks, anything related to turbines, setbacks noise vibration anything. Apparently, BP had gotten together leaseholders and said stay away from the process. To further encourage public participation the committee insisted on having a public comment session, before we submitted the draft to the town board and the public hearing. Again, we received no wind related comments from BP, or their leaseholders.

 Yes, we did receive a letter from you Mr. Chandler, dated June 27, and I'm going to try to quote the end of that letter. For parties interested in submitting applications to site wind energy projects in the town of Cape Vincent, the provisions contained in the proposed zoning law are unreasonably burdensome, in view of existing wind generating technologies and/ or the need of costs to ratepayers. We respectfully request the town reconsider the proposed zoning law, taking into account the above comments. 

Mr. Chandler, we appreciate your effort but you told us nothing. You did not make one suggestion on how you thought we could improve the law and make it more amenable to your needs. Again, we had the formal public hearing when the town was looking to pass a law on WECS wind energy conversion systems. Some of the leaseholders made comments on other sections but nothing having to do with wind. The result of these months of effort was a zoning law that contains many sections with requirements for industrial concerns that were similar to the types of requirements that were there for WECS.

 The law treats all of those concerns equally, independent of specific commercial business. So, if there is a sound requirement for turbines it's the same sound requirement as it is for a Quarry. We did not separate out wind turbines. Mr. Chandler, I was the chair of the zoning law a rewrite committee, we spent a good deal of effort revising our law. Our law very much reflects what our comprehensive plan says. The work resulted in a comprehensive zoning law that protects the health safety and welfare of the community. It is a just law, it does not discriminate against anyone entity, and this law is not up for grabs. 

Unless it can be demonstrated that a request fully complies with the health safety and welfare of our community, the request will not be considered. We believe this law is defensible under any review .

A couple of quick questions if I may please.

BP apparently decided they were not going to participate or their leaseholders participate in the law. And yet, in your PIP, in the last section you say that you want to talk to the towns and then decide what local laws and ordinances the siting board should not apply.

 It's illogical to expect the siting board to vacate a law that you and/or your leaseholders were offered the opportunity to participate in but declined to do so .Can you explain the logic of that Please?  How can you ask the siting board to vacate the Cape Vincent zoning law when you were given numerous opportunities to participate in the development of it?

Chandler: we are proposing a project that we believe the community supports, that can't happen, unless we have a community that supports it. We can't build a project on land that we don't control. We have an incredible amount of support from the community that is why we are  here, that is why we are  moving forward with this project.

 We have continued to engage with the community and the board over the past several years including this year, including over the summer months, time that we were spending on trying to optimize the layout that you see before you here. There was certainly uncertainty.

Planning board Chair Richard Macsherry: who did you talk to? Just out of curiosity, from either board.

Chandler: the response that we provided in the June, time frame was the best information that we had at the time to contribute to the  discussion that the town was having  regarding its draft zoning law. At the same time the Article 10 process was also in the draft format. Given the regulatory uncertainty regarding how to move forward with permitting, we were trying to give feedback in both of those processes, while trying to work on a revised layout of optimizing the two projects. So, only after getting a bit more clarity and certainty on where the town was going to end up with its zoning law in August time frame when that was passed and when the Article 10, process was passed in the August time frame as well, that we have enough certainty on what the options were, that we can use to take the project forward.

Bob Brown: Sir, you haven't answered my question .My question was,  you elected not to participate and  your leaseholders through you, elected not to participate in the development and writing of  this law.  How can you go to the state and say the law was no good ? You were given many opportunities to participate and we did it directly through the entire town.
 I think your proper response to Mr. Macsherry was that you worked with 4 or 5% of the town and assumed that they were going officially notify our board. Nobody did.

Chandler:  We, again we submitted a response in the June time frame.

Bob Brown: I read that last paragraph in that response sir, and it said nothing as far as being helpful to the writing of the law.

Chandler: we submitted a response in the time frame, to notify the board that we had seen the draft zoning law and we asked the town to reconsider because as drafted at that time, as currently drafted, we do believe that the requirements are unduly unreasonable, with respect to wind turbines

Bob Brown: what requirements?

Chandler: I'm not prepared to comment the specifics of that.  This forum is the opportunity to...

Attorney Curtin: I think Mr. Chandler has answered the questions to the best of his current ability, given the facts that he may have been provided by other parties. This is not, certainly not, an inquest or deposition, but that having been said and you’ve got additional questions please ask them.

Bob Brown: I won't take up any more time. Thank you Mr. Chandler.

Brooks Bragdon Town of Cape Vincent addresses BP's Richard Chandler

Town of Cape Vincent ,Town board member and Deputy Supervisor , Brooks Bragdon Addresses BP Project Developer Richard Chandler

Brooks Bragdon : Are you familiar with the town's comprehensive plan,and what that is?

Chandler: I've read the town's comprehensive plan.

Brooks Bragdon: Okay, are you familiar with the fact the Cape Vincent is predominantly an aesthetic community with many views on the St. Lawrence River and Lake?

Chandler: Ah,sure.

Brooks Bragdon: And are you aware that it has many historic preservation properties?

Chandler: I am aware there are historic preservation properties in the town of Cape Vincent?

Brooks Bragdon: Are you aware that the current comprehensive plan, updating the comprehensive plan, is very similar to the prior comprehensive plan?

Chandler: I have not compared the current comprehensive plan to the previous one.

Brooks Bragdon: I just want to assure you, that it is, a great deal of time and effort went into it, but it's based on the prior comprehensive plan. It's based on studies, surveys ,that go back for decades, here in the town. It's not something that was invented recently and it's not something that was in any way altered for current circumstances. The current zoning law was created over a period of months. We estimated the man hours that went into it at about 3500 man-hours. It's very important, that the zoning law does not rest on its own, it is tied into that comprehensive plan. This community is certainly a very aesthetic, world-class community. And also a community that's blessed by tremendous historic preservation resources, and that zoning law, was intended to protect that. Recently ,you spoke with attorney Curtin he said, do you intend to take into account the recent zoning law that we created? Your answer such as I remember it, we read the law, we evaluated it internally within BP and came up with a solution that we consider reasonable.

Now, I want you to look me in the face  and I want you to tell me, are you going to come into our community on the basis of our zoning law or not? If ,you're not going to come into our community on the basis of our zoning law, we are going to have a complete commitment to an adversarial relation. If you're going to come into this community on the basis of our zoning law, I am personally prepared to work with you but I want you to answer it and not in gobbledygook. I want a clear understandable answer.

Chandler:  Can you please repeat the question.

Brooks Bragdon:  Do you intend to come to Cape Vincent within the terms of our zoning law?

Chandler: Again, we have factored in, we have read through the zoning law, we have factored that in, we want to continue to have a dialogue with the town of Cape Vincent and the Town of Lyme, to talk how we can further optimize what we have proposed here, this is by no stretch the final version by any stretch this is for discussion purposes, we like to have your feedback for what it is we are proposing, we have looked at the options that are available to us ,looking at the Article 10 process.

Brooks Bragdon: I see in relationship to the Gulf situation that you stand accused of gross negligence and your corporation is described as having a culture of corporate recklessness . When you were talking earlier about the Article 10 board and the response they gave you I almost had the idea that you were gonna make them tweak it or something like that. It comes back and it says the plan does not adequately address many measures appropriate to a robust public involvement program and that the PSC finds it to be inadequate and so I'm asking you, please cut the bullshit and tell us if you are to work within our zoning law or not.

Chandler: We are committed to working with the town of Cape Vincent and the Town of Lyme, to optimize the project that we have here.

Brooks Bragdon: Okay, that project is in extreme violation of our zoning law,it has nothing to do in our zoning law. I'm not going to try to beat it to death ,I'm just saying ,that has nothing to do with our comprehensive plan, nothing to do with the zoning law…


Chandler:  I'm waiting for questions sir.

Brooks Bragdon: Well do you have a comment?

Chandler: I'm here to talk about the project and answer questions that are available for you to ask, for me to answer.

Brooks Bragdon: Okay , I assume that when you say you have read the law and you got an internal evaluation, you came up with what you consider to be reasonable, from your viewpoint, that's enough ,you don't care about this law and you're just going to try to drive right over the top of it.

Chandler: We absolutely have cared about the interest of the Town of Cape Vincent and Lyme and Jefferson County New York State and we will continue to do so.